Dog owners should keep their pet on a leash when taking them for walks this winter, it has been claimed.
Raelynn Farnsworth, clinical assistant professor and Washington State University (WSU) community practice vet, expressed her belief that the cold weather should not prevent owners from giving their animal the exercise it needs.
However, consumers should approach walks with caution and keep their dog on a leash at all times to ensure it will not wander onto a frozen lake or get lost.
She told WSU Today: "If there is snow, take your animals snow shoeing or cross-country skiing on a leash. Just make sure they won't get lost or suffer from frostbite."
If it is not possible to exercise outside, Charlie Powell of WSU's College of Veterinary Medicine advised consumers to chase their pet around the home and use toys to get them moving.
Pet owners could also consider keeping a food diary to keep track of their animal's diet, Mr Powell added.